Equity and Evidence: Data Tools to Inform Paid Family Leave Policymaking


Research shows that paid family leave is one of the most effective policies that a state can implement to lay a strong foundation for the rest of a baby’s life, avoiding life-long developmental, educational, social, and health challenges. The Prenatal-to-3 Policy Impact Center at The University of Texas at Austin and ZERO TO THREE hosted a joint webinar exploring how policymakers and advocates can use both the State of Babies Yearbook and the Prenatal-to-3 State Policy Roadmap to inform your state’s efforts to adopt an effective and equitable paid leave policy. Leaders also shared their efforts to adopt and expand paid family leave to enhance equity and wellbeing in their state. Recording and materials are provided below. 

The time after the birth or adoption of a baby is one of the most important periods of development for babies and families, and early relationships can nurture early brain connections. 

Rigorous research studies show that access to paid leave:

  • boosts maternal labor force attachment
  • increases a family’s economic security
  • improves maternal mental health
  • fosters better parent-child relationships
  • supports child health and development

Related Resources on Paid Family Leave




  • Myra Jones-Taylor, Ph.D., Chief Policy Officer, ZERO TO THREE
  • Cynthia Osborne, Ph.D., Director, Prenatal-to-3 Policy Impact Center; Associate Dean, LBJ School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin

Guest Speakers

  • Leanne Barrett, Senior Policy Analyst, Rhode Island KIDS COUNT
  • Alison May, Policy Associate, National Conference of State Legislatures
  • Andrea Paluso, Executive Director, Family Forward Oregon

Watch the Recording


Webinar Materials


Please contact us if you have questions about the webinar.


Cynthia Osborne discusses the work of the Prenatal-to-3 Policy Impact Center, which focuses on building the evidence base for effective state policies to improve outcomes for infants, toddlers, and their families. Read the full article
Vanderbilt University’s Prenatal-to-3 Policy Impact Center (PN-3) just issued its annual State Policy Roadmap, exploring ways that the states (and D.C.) can improve conditions so infants and toddlers can thrive. The Roadmap focuses on 12 solutions shown
Paid family leave is one of 12 evidence-based policies in our 2023 Prenatal-to-3 State Policy Roadmap, which details states’ progress toward adopting and implementing policies that effectively improve child and family wellbeing . As of